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Highlights of Webinarthon: Stay home learn more

The government of Nepal initiated nationwide lockdown from March 24 as the preventive measure during the Corona Virus Outbreak. 

The duration of lockdown is uncertain as it was initially for 21 days but it’s hampering day to day activities like study, work and others. For students, it might be frustrating because the research works are directly affected but still, the lockdown was fruitful as YPARD Nepal facilitated a webinar. The webinar was jointly organized by YPARD Nepal, CliMates Nepal, IAAS Nepal and IVSA Nepal.

I happened to join this webinar from the notice published on YPARD Nepal group and I also invited many youths from different fields with the common motto of connecting to each other to learn and share knowledge. The session encompassed current affairs and its relation to different fields like veterinary, agriculture, food science and forestry by many dignified and respective personage in the respective field.

The webinar was scheduled from April 22 to April 26 followed by Q&A sessions every day. On the first day, there was an introduction to the different networks i.e. YPARD Nepal, IAAS Nepal, CliMates Nepal and IVSA Nepal along with the information on their interactions and opportunities. 

We got to know about their activities and interactions among different networks for the creation of possible opportunities and solution to different problems. Similarly, Day 2 was joined by Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattarai who is currently lecturing in Agriculture and Forestry University and Mr. Santosh Pokharel, an inspiring entrepreneur who runs a business in the dairy industry presented on “Impact of Corona on Animal Health and Consumption Pattern and Measures to prevent it” and “Impact of COVID-19 on Dairy Industry” respectively. 

Dr. Bhattarai explained that the shortage of feed and treatment facilities during this time has severely affected the consumption pattern as well as animal health. Mr. Pokharel added that we must have a concrete plan and vision to solve the problems that have arisen due to COVID-19 as farmers are unable to market their dairy products which have led to a movement to dump the milk on the roads.

On the 3rd day, there was a presentation by two Speakers:  Mr. Kiran Bamanu and Mr. Khem Poudel who presented on the different topics- “ICT for Agriculture” and “Opportunities and Challenges in Commercial Farming” respectively. I also happened to know that Mr. Khem Poudel was awarded in storytelling competition which was organized by YPARD in 2016. Mr. Khem Poudel’s life experience was able to inspire participants including me to become an entrepreneur. 

The challenges he faced during his journey as an entrepreneur was the most inspiring part of the session. He further added that the government is lacking the effort to execute the policies made to encourage youths in their own start-up. Mr.Bamanu discussed the context of ICTs and its use in agriculture research and development and even showcased the activities of DreamWork Solution which indeed encouraged us to use different ICT tools and develop technologies in agriculture which would surely make this field attractive.

The fourth day of the webinar was an interactive session where Mr. Dambar Khanal and Miss Pramisha Thapaliya presented on “Postharvest and Food Security” and “Climate change, food system and COVID-19”. Mr. Khanal started his session sharing the impacts of post-harvest and storage technologies on food security. He added that assessment of the impact on food security along with the food banking system is required to protect people in this crisis. Miss Thapaliya focused on impacts of climate change on agriculture and food supply. She further added that we need to respond to climate crisis like we are reacting to this pandemic.

The final day had the speaker Mr. Binod Ghimire, Mr. Abhishek Khadka and Dr. Subash Belbase and they presented on “Nepalese Agriculture and Post COVID Strategy”, COVID -19: Food Safety in this Crisis” and “COVID -19: Veterinary Sector and role of Veterinarian” respectively. The session was really fruitful as we were able to strengthen our knowledge regarding  Nepalese agriculture and food security. Learning about the dairy industry and veterinary sector being an agriculture student was really exciting to me, and to be frank, it was totally new experience.

To sum up, the webinar didn’t only provide the knowledge sharing platform but also helped youths from different field to connect to each other. I am very thankful to Mr. Rajesh Kunwar (CliMates Nepal), Prashant Raj Giri (IAAS Nepal), Pratik Kiju (IVSA Nepal) and Anil Bastola (YPARD Nepal) for organizing 90 minutes each webinars lasting for 5 days with total engagements of 450 minutes. I expect such innovative webinars in the future.

Photo credit: Samikshya Pandey